• Do not omit interaction with the service provider, particularly if you are unfamiliar with the organization you are working with.
• Do not omit specifics around service level commitments. It is easy to espouse that this can be handled post contract, but the experience of advisors and of many CIOs who have gone down this path is that there is no leverage to get the service levels defined after the deal is already complete.
• Don’t do a sloppy, short-cut version of documenting your current environment. Service Providers will base their bid on what you reveal to them about the environment – whether or not it is reality. When the real facts come to light, no one is going to be happy, and someone will pay.
• Don't eliminate serious discussions and clarifications around pricing. Vague pricing or poor definition of pricing methods will always turn out to be a strong point of contention between the parties. Lack of clarity on what is included in the price can result in unexpected and escalating costs and the need for contract remediation.
• Do not develop a high-level, open-ended contract unless you plan to establish a strong governance team and are contracting for pay-as–you-go or time-and-materials services. On the other hand, don't allow endless bickering over tiny details to upend the process.
• Do not agree to negotiate with multiple providers if you haven’t established a baseline for negotiations, including a clear definition of requirements, performance objectives, and roles and responsibilities. If you proceed without this baseline, you will be guaranteed to waste time and expend large amount of resources and money. Negotiating with multiple providers is time consuming and provides marginal benefits over doing a good job of upfront requirements definition, solutioning and service provider selection.
So Can We still Do Speed Sourcing?
If you choose to do a speed-sourcing project, make sure you have done all your homework. In other words, make sure you have carefully defined your strategies, scope and objectives up front. Take only logical, low-risk shortcuts, and do not assume that work you skip need not be done eventually.